Here in the south, we love summer because it means lots of fresh veggies and fruit for super cheap. It's even cheaper when your Dad is a very friendly and conversational man to everyone he meets. His sweet personality results in lots of really inexpensive (and sometimes free!) fruits and veggies from individuals that he encounters during his work day. Since this extremely high quality and delicious foods are at my fingertips, I had him pick me up a few just for Ethan. I wanted to start attempting to make baby food and freeze it.
Baby food is EXTREMELY expensive, and filled with all kinds of preservatives and who knows what else. Granted, I realize that there are a million other reasons to make baby food at home, but our main motive is to be more cost efficient. So I have decided to slowly start trying different foods.
Project 1: Butternut Squash
This one was fairly tricky, but not difficult. I didn't take a ton of pictures of the process. First, I sliced the squash vertically, and removed all the seeds. I then placed the squash meat side down into a 13x9 baking dish that had about an inch of water standing in it. I baked it at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. I had read that another option was to chop up the squash into large chunks, peel it, and boil it, but it was difficult and more time consuming to do it this way. Once the squash was done baking, the skin of the squash practically fell off.
I placed the meat of the squash in my new food processor, added just a little bit of water, and pureed away.
I don't have a ton of "teeny" storage containers, or the room to put them all in the freezer, so I went with ice cube trays. I placed my puree mix into a cake decorating bag, and easily filled 22 "cubes" full of baby food. The cake decorating bag (as opposed to a spoon) made it less messy for me to fill the ice cube trays. I highly recommend.
Each cube is about 1 oz of food, the average "meal" for an infant at the time he will be eating these.
I placed them in my freezer for a few days, and then sealed them up into Food Saver bags to avoid freezer burn. 100% natural butternut squash, nothing but water added, and 22 little meals for my little man. :)
Project 2: Green Beans
The only difference with the green bean preparation was the steaming/baking/boiling option. I boiled the green beans for about 20 minutes on my stove top in about an inch and a half of water before throwing them into my food processor.
I repeated all of the other steps that I had completed with the butternut squash. 1 pound of green beans gave me 20 "cubes."
When I'm ready to start feeding Ethan baby food, I'll just have to take a cube or two out of the freezer, thaw and serve! In Kentucky, baby food is about a dollar a jar. My dad had picked up the squash for 75 cents, and I paid 99 cents for the pound of green beans.
42 Jars of Baby Food- $42
Total Savings- $40.25
I'd call my attempt a large success.